The Difference Between SEO and SEM

Are you interested in successfully marketing your website on the internet? Have you thought about how people find out about your website and where visitors might come from? You could put out an ad in a magazine with your website address or a more effective option might be paid online advertising.

Internet marketing is normally comprised of two categories. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). These are commonly confused terms in the website industry. Sometimes website owners think that only SEO is needed when in fact it is also important to use SEM techniques to ensure the success of a website.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of improving a website’s visibility by actually modifying the website itself. SEO is normally done by a website developer, copywriter or the website owner. An example of SEO would be using descriptive page titles on your website. Page titles help the directory pages determine what your content is about and direct properly direct people to your website.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) refers to the process of driving visitors to your website by using paid advertising on other websites. This involves paying a company such as Google or Bing to list your website at the top of their search results. You can list your website on Google for free, but the free methods will not guarantee you will appear at the top of searches. When you pay for online advertising you can normally use a Pay Per Click, or Pay Per Impressions pricing structure.

Some common online advertising systems available today are:

Google – AdWords
Microsoft Advertising – adCenter
LinkedIn
Facebook Ads
Other Website Advertising Networks

Some other useful things you can do to improve your website’s visibility online include regularly updating your website content, blogging, creating XML sitemap file, submitting your website to major searches, adding clear pages titles and adding keywords.

When you add an XML sitemap to your website it helps the search engines list what is on your website easily. Daily little programs called “bots” run from the search engine companies which come and visit your website. These bots sometimes need to be told what to do. Helping them classify and categorize content on your site can increase how available your website content becomes on the search engines.

Be aware that sometimes it can take months for search engines to completely index your site. It is also sometimes possible if you have a lot of content for the bots to overload your website resulting in poor website performance.

What Is All This Duplicate Content Penalty Stuff Anyway?

In this article I am going to teach you about the duplicate content penalty and why it is important to understand the concept if you plan to use article marketing as part of your internet business.

So basically, duplicate content is when an article or blog post or maybe a product description is copied from one place to another. The first indexing of that content will get the ranking, and all the others will be penalized for copying.

Internet marketing relies very heavily on original content. Whether you have an ecommerce site selling softball gloves, or you have a blog that relies on advertising revenue, or your niche is article marketing to drive traffic, you have to be concerned with the duplicate content penalty.

For the first few years of internet marketing a person could just throw up a site of any kind and get visitors and sales. It was new, bright and shiny and people were attracted to it. Then, the shine wore off a bit and marketers had to actually do some marketing to get folks over to their site. They used content, any kind of content to get themselves ranked high on the search engines.

Getting these rankings was fairly simple back then. The name of the game was getting links to your website, using whatever method possible. So many marketers just copied content and placed it on their site or blog or just re-wrote it and published to article directories. This worked although it was against the better practices rules of the search engines.

Well, the search engines always told us not to use duplicate content. They said it just wasn’t fair and they would not count it as link juice for your site, possibly even remove your site from the listings. However, since the search engines didn’t follow their own rules at that time, many marketers chose to ignore them and get the rankings anyway.

Recently the big search engine has re-written its search algorithms and it has implemented those parameters that it always tried to use in the first place. Many marketers got bumped from the first page, some removed entirely. It left many companies scrambling to comply, trying to regain their foot hold on the market.

The moral is that you should create your marketing material with duplicate content penalty in mind. Write an article, place it either on your website or publish it to an article directory, not both. If you feel you need the content both places, then you must re-write it such that it is mostly original in both places.

Top Reasons Why You Need to Be on the First Page of Google

Why you need to be on the first page of Google? The answer to this question is very simple. Google processes billions of search requests every day.

It is also known as the Internet’s most visited search engine. This means that for any business, being first in Google means beating millions of other sites under the same niche.

Studies say that websites on the first page in Google search results receive 75% of clicks. This means that a website that occupies a prominent space in Google have higher chances of increasing sales. Owners of prominent business websites in Google do not look for clients anymore, as Google provides them the traffic they need every day.

The better question is how to be on the first page on Google? There have been thousands of articles, blog entries, and comments written about this question.

The one thing that they all have in common is the fact that to be first in Google is not an easy task. Anyone who decides to work on this all by himself or herself should prepare to work.

Money and time are needed to get on the first page on Google. But it is all worth it once the web site stays on top of the competition.

To be able to land on the front page of Google, one must first understand how the Google Page Rank system functions. This system is based on Hypertext Linking, which is a far more superior system compared to its predecessors.

This system provides faster and high quality search results. Back in the mid 90s, search engines were influenced by human interference making the search more arduous. Since Page Rank is based on Hypertext Linking, a site’s ranking is based on the number of links that point to a specific site.

In a way, these links vote for the “integrity” of a site to provide the right information for a specific keyword. There are some other elements involved in this system. But the most important fact that any website owner should take note of is that “high quality” links are necessary to get a good ranking.

High quality here means the sites that “vote” or point to the web site that is being promoted should be important sites as well. An example is a link from Yahoo.com is considered higher in quality as compared to a link from myfavoriteshoppingplace.com.

Getting on the first page of Google is not an easy task but anyone can start by identifying the keywords that need promotion. It is important to think like the person who is doing the search. How will a person type out his or her query in Google? There are also tools for keyword research that are available online.

Why you need to be on the first page of Google? The Internet is growing every day. To be on the first page of the top search engine is the only way to remain visible in the online competition. Most importantly, to be first on Google will help boost traffic.

Is Your Business Showing Up In Local Search?

When people start searching for your product or service, is your business showing up online? It is highly likely that your competition is showing up and you are not. In this article I am going to share with you how you can have your business, product or service show up in the Local Search Profile when people go online looking for what you have to offer in your specific Local Area.

So What is a Local Search Profile?

A local search profile is what shows up when someone in your town conducts an online search to find a specific business, product or service. Gone are the days when people grab the Yellow Pages when they want to find a plumber, chiropractor or restaurant. Be honest, when is the last time you actually used the yellow pages? People are now searching for everything online and with the latest technology, they are using their mobile smartphones to do it.

Can you really generate more business with local search?

You be the judge. Using a Local Search Profile is just one of many free tools available to business owners today and it is available through all the major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yelp. By simply taking the time to create a local business profile and submitting it, you can get multiple rankings with multiple listings all over the internet. There are 100’s of local search directories but you should concentrate on the few major ones. I will give you a few in the following paragraphs.

Here are just a few staggering statistics about Local Search!

95% of consumers use online media to research products and services in their local area.

80% of US households now use the internet as an information source when shopping locally

8o% of local searches will followup with a phone call or a visit to the listing that stands out best

90% of searchers wont look past page one of search results.

Even more incredible, Local searches now show up on mobile devices so if you have taken the time to create a profile, you show up when people are driving around looking for the services or products you offer. Imagine you or someone you know driving around town and trying to find somewhere to eat nearby. You pull out your cell phone (after stopping the car of course due to new laws in many states), access your internet and see what is in the area. Statistics show that Google places are often the only list searches that show up on smartphones and mobile phone use for internet browsing is on the rise and appears to be one of the larger trends of 2011

Consider this! More and more people are searching for business and service on their mobile device too and these days, just about everyone is carrying a mobile smart phone that allows them to conduct a local search for anything they need in what ever city they are visiting.

Creating a Local Search Profile?

Step 1. Choose the location you want to start with. Personally, I prefer Google Places.

Go to Google.com and search “places” and this will take you to the Google places page. If you don’t already have an account you can set one up and begin the process. One you get logged in, you simply follow the instruction to create a business listing.

The key to true success here is to be sure you complete your listing as much as possible. Add pictures, add video, add details, and make sure you use all 5 available categories to describe your business. You also want to add as much detail as possible about your business in the description area. Your really want to have as many descriptive words in this area as they relate to the type of product or service you provide.

The following are some other great locations for local search profiles. The key is to repeat the process and create a local search listing in places like:

Bing Business Portal – bing.com/businessportal

Yahoo Local – listings.local.yahoo.com/signup

Yelp – yelp.com

Good luck getting your business found!

Tips For Hiring Search Engine Marketing Companies

If you are in the market sifting through search engine marketing companies, then you are probably aware of the plentiful options to choose from. Some online business owners are overwhelmed with their choices and they end up hiring a firm that is incapable of providing the services they need. You need to start by identifying your search engine marketing goals to best determine who can offer services to meet your needs.
There are three basic questions that you can start with when selecting a search engine marketing firm. These questions include the following:

How do you like your website or business to perform one or several years from hiring the services of a firm? What is the desired amount of income in a specific period of time, say 3 or 5 years? How much are you willing to invest to ensure that your business increases its sales and profitability?

There are more questions that you should be asking; however, the above questions will enable you to pinpoint what your immediate and long-term goals are. You should find an answer to them before you begin your search for a search engine marketing firm.

The above three questions are also very important for another reason: it focuses on results. This is where all goals lead to. Results are the driving force behind a company establishing its own goals. This is why results must be on top of your priority list when determining which company to hire to handle your search engine marketing campaign. Most importantly, a company must be dedicated in YOUR RESULTS because every online business has unique goals to achieve.

One concern that make it difficult for online businesses to choose the right search engine marketing company to hire is the lack of goal planning. This is a costly mistake, but there are admittedly a number of online businesses that neglect this aspect. If you are one of them, then don’t expect to see any viable result from your SEM campaign.

Budget must be considered alongside the methods used for achieving results from your SEM campaign. If your business have a limited budget to spare, then the professional SEM service can focus more on improving organic search engine rankings over PPC advertising, which is more costly. Driving leads to your website is just one thing though, because you need to have an easy to navigate and functional website to produce conversion.

There are several methods for reaching your goal. Thus, you need to speak with the firm you are considering to hire to do SEO for you and determine how they define this process. Do they prioritize organic search over PPC or vice versa? If they choose to use organic search methods, what are the sub-specialties of their SEO service? Make sure that any or a combination of the following are included: social bookmarking, social media marketing, copywriting, online syndication, backlinking, and RSS feeds. A good search engine marketing firm employs a comprehensive range of SEO services to maximize results. However, the methods must be designed to fit your goals.

There are plenty of search engine marketing companies that you can hire. But the secret to a successful marketing relies on whether their own goals, focus, and marketing activities are compatible with the goals and needs of your business.